IN USE BY CHRISTMAS?
A gash of new highway through the tortuous country at Stoney Creek – near Tarawera on the Napier-Taupo route – could be sealed by Christmas but heavy rain in the area last night brought some delay.
The Ministry of Works resident engineer in Napier, Mr R.D. Grant, said today, after making an inspection at Stoney Creek, that the damage was superficial.
It could, however, mean the difference between success or disappointment in the bid to open the new deviation pictured above by Christmas.
Bad weather has been a problem since work first began at Stoney Creek. Twice during the week the contractor, Emoleum Ltd. was ready to seal part of the deviation, but was forced to call a halt because of rain.
At nearby Tarawera last night six inches of rain fell in two hours.
Mr Grant said it was still hoped to open the deviation by Christmas, whether completely sealed or not.
The deviation eliminates some of the worst grades between Napier and Taupo. It includes a massive steel culvert (arrowed) which takes the waters of flood-prone Stoney Creek.
The creek is at present crossed by an ageing bridge with difficult approaches.